More to the Story

So, it’s been 1 1/2 months since we learned that our baby, Tiny, no longer had a heartbeat. That story is a long story, too. I was the one that actually discovered it before going in for an ultrasound the next day to confirm. I’ll share more of that later.

What you may not know (since we didn’t tell a lot of people), is that we actually had an early pregnancy loss right before this one as well.  It was a whole different story. We had stopped preventing pregnancy for 1 month and were blessed to get pregnant that month. Historically, we are the “we’re like 5 minutes pregnant” kind of pregnancy announcers. I wanted to wait this time though. I never really actually “felt” pregnant like I typically do. The symptoms really weren’t there at all.

We were still super excited and we shared with a few friends. I never felt connected in that pregnancy though. I realized that I never even referred to it as more than “the pregnancy.” Never, “the baby” or the like, which is not typical for me. I think deep down, I knew that the pregnancy wasn’t right from the get-go.

At 5 wks and 5 days, on January 18th, I started bleeding. It progressed to bleeding like a normal period. There was not a thing different about it than any of my other cycles. No extra cramping, clots, or anything. If I hadn’t known I was pregnant by the tests, I would’ve just thought it was a period that was nearly two weeks late.

So, although I was sad, I was not extremely surprised that it was going this way. I truly feel like it might’ve been a chemical pregnancy or blighted ovum or something to that effect, where a baby never actually started to form. The hormones were there, so the “idea” of life was started in my body, but nothing more came of it (*see below for more about my thoughts about this). We were sad but were ready to try again.

We got pregnant again the next month with Tiny. We were ecstatic! I actually tested to confirm what I already knew would be positive. The symptoms started in strong the night before 28 days since the loss. So, I grabbed a test from the dollar store to confirm and was so pleased! I was attached to that baby RIGHT AWAY! It felt strong, it felt healthy, it felt right. All things continued wonderfully. It was very similar to the pregnancy with Ridley.

We were planning, dreaming, and even thinking about names some. The kids were so excited! The loss of our baby has been crushing. It still consumes my mind. When you hold your tiny baby in your hand, knowing that you will never know him this side of heaven…it’s horrible. I just cannot describe it.

So, we have had 3 healthy pregnancies followed by 2 losses. That’s a little hard to swallow. I’m 36 years old. We always said we wanted 4 children. We waivered on that at one point, but then came back to it. In actuality, we do have 4 children now, but 1 is already with Jesus.  It may sound odd, but I still don’t mourn a baby from the pregnancy before this last one. I just don’t feel like a baby ever started (*this was my experience only and I am not in any way minimizing the loss of a pregnancy at this time or any kind of pregnancy loss. every experience is different.). And, we’ll never know this side of heaven. But, who knows, we may actually have 2 babies in heaven.

So, at this point, the future is unknown. Well, is it ever really known? After 2 losses and then a horrible hemorrhage, it’s hard to know what to think.  Is this how God is saying to stop? Right now, I still desire to have another healthy child. That is my heart’s desire. I have asked God that if that is not what He has for us, that He will remove that desire from my heart.

Right now, we are enjoying our living children. And, I’m healing physically. Recovering from such a blood loss can takes months of recovery. And, the emotional pain is still so strong, it’s still hard to even fathom trying again.  There are so many things I could say to add to this, but just know that I am really still hurting from this loss. I have learned so many things from the loss of our sweet baby, and much of what I’ve learned is that many people just don’t understand the loss of babies in pregnancy.

I was 13 wks and 2 days when I delivered Tiny. This is still the time when most say “miscarriage” but I truly have come to hate that word. To me, it minimizes the loss. When people think “miscarriage” they think it’s just a heavy period. I can tell you that it was labor. I had mild contractions every 2-3 minutes for 3 hours on Easter morning before church, but they stopped. We did all the Easter stuff. Then, as the kids were going to bed, I started contracting again irregularly, and then about 10pm, they started in at every 2-3 minutes consistently, increasing in intensity and pain. At 1:20 am on Monday morning, I had a gush of what I thought was my water breaking, but discovered it was a gush of blood. I quickly went into the bathroom and called Stephen and told him I thought the baby was coming. I put a strainer in the toilet under me and Tiny was born completely cushioned within his amniotic sac, floating in the amniotic fluid.

After a few minutes, we broke the bag of waters and then held Tiny in our hands for a long time, weeping, praying, and admiring his sweet teeny features. Legs, arms, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, mouth…. We also took lots of pictures of him. May seem odd to some, but it is our baby and we wanted to remember what he looked like, even if he was way too early. He is our precious child.

All during this time, I was doing what normally occurs after a birth—lots of bleeding. I actually got pretty faint at one point, but got in bed and it did eventually pass. However, at about 3 am, I got up to the potty and called Stephen quickly after I got there because I felt like I was going to pass out. And…I did. Next thing I know, I was laying on the bathroom floor with Stephen holding my head up and he was calling my name and asking if he needed to call an ambulance. I was thinking, wow, that was a really nice nap. HA! We did not call the ambulance. Stephen helped me back to bed. I realized I probably got up really quickly from the bed (you just can’t do that after having a baby with the major fluid shifts in your body) and to compound that, I hadn’t eaten in like 10 hrs (supper). So, Stephen went and fixed me eggs and I ate an apple with a lot of peanut butter. I felt so much better after that, and was able to get to sleep after that.

In the morning, we told the kids that the baby had been born. Later, we asked if they wanted to see the baby. We had placed him in  jar of water to keep his body moist (like the womb). They wanted to see him and they were just in awe of this tiny baby sibling of theirs. Colby said he looked like he was smiling. I said, yea, he does. He said he knew why—it was probably because he was with Jesus. I thought that was precious. They just looked and looked at him. It was sweet and sad all at the same time.

On Tuesday, we called the funeral home. We had already talked to them before Tiny was born, so they knew about us already. Stephen and I took Tiny there in a little box and signed all the paperwork for the cremation of Tiny. We were not charged for his cremation, which is such a sweet service they provide for these little ones. We have a beautiful baby urn with Tiny’s cremains now. There was a lot of discussion about what we’d do with his little body before he was born. This is what Stephen and I settled on and felt at peace with. I am still thankful for our choice.

So, this blog turned into more than I was planning to write about right now. But, I want to share this with those that haven’t heard some of these details.  I would like to share this blog post that I read the other day. Read here and try to enter the world of baby loss.

Please pray for us.

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1 Response to More to the Story

  1. Rosalind Mcbride says:

    Oh Jennifer, you have given us a glimpse of what you all have gone through. I read your story with tears. I’m so sorry that you have gone through these miscarriages. I see your tender love for Tiny and its so wonderful that Ridley spotted Tiny’s smile. I’m thankful that you are feeling better, you’ve been through a lot. Prayers will continue for you and your sweet family. Love you so much.

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